In Buenos Aires, walking more than a block without passing a bustling cafe is rare. From early morning coffee and medialunas to afternoon meriendas (snacks), Argentines can be found relishing the thriving cafe culture of the capital. With the advent of hybrid or virtual work, many flock to cafes to pass the workday while enjoying the delights of Argentine cuisine. But not all cafes are created equal: while some are a home away from home-office, others have sluggish internet, or simply prefer their patrons play, not work.
So whether you’re a local looking to mix up your co-working routine or a digital nomad visiting Buenos Aires, here are the Herald’s favorite cafes to work in.
México 1152, Monserrat
Hours: Monday-Friday 9a.m.-7p.m., Saturdays 10a.m.-6p.m.
With its coppery exposed pipes, barista paraphernalia and hanging plants, Hábito treats coffee like alchemy. Long, broad tables and plentiful plug sockets make this a favorite among students at the nearby universities, and the internet, like a German car, is fast and reliable. For lunch, try the blue cheese and nut salad or the pastron sandwich, followed by one of the sfogliatellas or moist, fruity cakes. There’s a small independent theater, La Ranchería, upstairs. Be warned: it can get very full around 5 p.m. when students with day jobs head there to top up on caffeine before their evening classes.
Riobamba 1173, Recoleta
Hours: Monday-Friday 9a.m.-7:30p.m., Saturdays 10a.m.-7:30p.m.
This elegant coffee shop in Recoleta offers the perfect escape: with beautiful wooden tables, ambient lighting, and chill music in the background, it provides a comfortable, homey environment for a productive work day. Tónico’s fast wifi and cushy, brown leather couch provide a great opportunity to hunker down for a while. Service is quick and the staff are lovely. For a burst of energy, we recommend the namesake Espresso Tónico with a tomato, mozzarella, and pesto “tostada.” When you’re done, pay a visit to El Ateneo, Buenos Aires’ famed bookshop in a converted theater — it’s just two minutes’ walk.
Godoy Cruz 1757, Palermo Soho
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 9a.m -11p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 9a.m.-1 a.m., Sundays 11a.m. – 8 p.m.
This innovative cafe is a fresh take on tradition with its modern, artistic environment. During the day, SUMI provides ample room for work, with large tables, couches, and an outdoor patio. The space is well-equipped with power outlets by all tables, strong wifi, and an extensive coffee menu. The cafe offers affordable pastries and sandwiches to fuel you throughout the day. It turns into a bar at night and also serves as an exhibition space for young artists. Once you’ve logged off for the day, check out their photography exhibitions and, if you’re feeling energetic, party to the live DJ sets.
Chile 524, San Telmo
Hours: Thursday-Sunday 8a.m.-8:30p.m.
This folksy café on the cobbled streets of central San Telmo displays exquisitely-decorated hand-baked cakes and pies in a cabinet next to the counter queue and serves its coffee in little china cups that seem to have been scooped up at the neighborhood’s many antique stores. Sit on the roofed patio to get a healthy dose of daylight while you work. If you work standard (remote) office hours, bear in mind that it’s closed Monday through Wednesday.
Armenia 1908, Palermo Soho
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8a.m.-8p.m., Sundays 9a.m.-8p.m.
Casa Dingo Cafe brings life and energy to cafe culture with calming sage green accents and great natural light. The best part about this Aussie cafe? You can bring along your furry friends: Dingo is pet-friendly. From the wide offering of coffees and teas to morning bites and afternoon meals, the Aussies have you covered. The avo on brioche toast is a heavenly breakfast. And of course, you’re welcome even if you don’t have a pet.
Paraguay 4400 (Palermo Soho); Avenida Corrientes 1522
With its geometric interior and spinach-green baked goods, this contemporary cafe offers fast wifi, indoor and outdoor seating. If you like to keep it simple, we recommend a flaky, buttery croissant and a latte, but if you’re in the mood for something different, options abound. Unique coffee creations include the espresso with orange juice, and if you have a sweet tooth, we recommend the cookie street, made with condensed milk, espresso, cookies, and chocolate syrup. For those with dietary restrictions looking to up their protein intake, they offer keto options, as well as high-protein takes on classic Argentine desserts like alfajores and chocotorta.
Bilbo Cafe Recoleta
Junín 1930, Recoleta
This bright cafe is tucked away in the bright, art-covered walls of Recoleta Cultural Center. The place is usually bustling with students studying for university exams, local dance troupes practicing, and families enjoying the drawing rooms: the perfect energy for a burst of productivity. If you want to hunker down for the day, you can do so at the pink and blue accented indoor seating or relax in a hanging lounge chair. For some fresh air, there’s also an outdoor courtyard. The coffee menu is more limited, but perfectly adequate if you’re not looking for anything fancy. They also offer afternoon treats like vegan alfajores and buttery croissants.